Anthony Martial

Coauthored by Jeremy Roth and David Talpalar

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(Courtesy of ESPN)

Although Martial could face stiff competition from the likes of Dimitri Payet for the final place in Deschamps’ starting XI, Martial offers a mouthwatering set of skills, all at the ripe age of 20 years old. Having made his debut for France as a teenager, Martial has already played a part in 8 international games, although he is still looking for his first goal.

Martial, a black man of French Caribbean descent, has struck it big in mainland Europe. He burst on the scene with a critical goal against Arsenal in the Champions League knockout stage a few years ago, and this past summer he completed a massive move to Manchester United. Although manager Louis Van Gaal dubbed him as one for the future, Martial made such an impact upon arriving in England that his manager has had a tough time leaving him out of the lineup, particularly early on this season. In fact, he scored within minutes of his appearance for the Red Devils against bitter rivals Liverpool, shown below. He has already taken part in 29 Premier League games for United, both as a forward and a winger, and has 9 goals to show for his efforts, 15 in all competitions for his new club. He was also awarded the 2015 Golden Boy award, much like his teammate, Paul Pogba, was before him (ESPN).

Martial has drawn inevitable comparisons to French legend Thierry Henry, as they have similar personal backgrounds and playing styles. However, in truth, Martial might have even more pace than Henry. Given the makeup of the roster, Martial is likely to play on the left wing for France this summer. His incredible pace and quick feet are sure to give defenders nightmares, and, although his contributions will be important this summer, one must feel that Martial’s biggest contributions to French football will come in future competitions over the next decade and beyond.

Martial makes an instant impact for Manchester United in his debut (YouTube)

How to cite this article: “Projected France Starting XI at Euro 2016” Written by Jeremy Roth and David Talpalar (2016), European Cup 2016 Guide, Soccer Politics Blog, Duke University, http://sites.duke.edu/wcwp/tournament-guides/european-cup-2016-guide/identity-and-the-french-national-team/notable-players-in-the-projected-french-squad-with-african-heritage/anthony-martial/ (accessed on (date)).